I’m sorry I’ve been so delinquent updating this blog. Summer has gotten crazy-busy, and my only writing time has been severely curtailed ever since my little one got inconsistent about napping. When he doesn’t nap, I don’t get any writing time, so I can’t blog. It’s definitely cut into my productivity.
I cooked my last challenge a couple of weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting it. It’s still seasonally appropriate, though. The challenge was to make a chilled soup, one I hadn’t tried before. I have to admit that I didn’t go very far out on a limb for this one. I made a blended gazpacho.
Usually, when I make gazpacho, it’s pretty much a salad in a bowl. This time, I was inspired by Thomas Keller‘s recipe for Sun Gold Tomato Gazpacho, from Ad Hoc at Home. This soup is blended until it is silky smooth. It has a wonderful mouthfeel that encourages you to keep eating and eating. My husband also loved it. (Although the Kid, as per usual, turned up his nose.)
This soup uses cherry tomatoes, which should be abundant just about now. I was going to take advantage of some wonderful heirloom cherry tomatoes I spotted in the co-op, but by the time I went back to get them, they were all gone. So instead of using the yellow tomatoes that are called for, I substituted red. It didn’t hurt the soup any, so far as I could tell.
I served this with another great recipe from Sara Foster‘s Southern Kitchen: Fried Green Tomato BLTs. I didn’t have actual green tomatoes yet, so I used red ones from the co-op that were still a bit mealy. They fried up great and the sandwich was tasty, although nothing really beats a basic BLT at the height of tomato season. I encourage you to make your own mayonnaise for your BLTs. I stirred in some chopped basil, which gave it a summery taste. Here is my recipe for fool-proof homemade mayo.
Cherry Tomato Gazpacho
Yields: 6 servings (leftovers keep well in the fridge)
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped onion
- 2 lbs. cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch or two of cayenne pepper, or to taste
- salt, to taste
- ¾ cup good-quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced basil, for garnish
1. Reserve 1 cup of the tomatoes, ½ of the cucumber and ½ of the pepper for garnish. Dice the cucumber and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.
2. In a large bowl, add the water, garlic, onion and remaining tomatoes, cucumber and pepper. Let marinate in their own juices for 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth. Strain to remove any larger bits of tomato peel.
3. Return the mixture to the blender or food processor. Add the vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne and salt. With the blender or food processor running, slowly pour in the oil, blending until very, very smooth. Taste and add more vinegar or seasonings as desired.
4. The gazpacho can be refrigerated up to 2 days. To serve, garnish with the reserved diced vegetables and minced basil leaves.
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home, p114.